Start Farming Blog
Northeast SARE is offering opportunities for supporting innovative sustainable ag ideas on farms and in communities. Application deadlines for 2017 awards are this fall.
The fall season brings excitement, fatigue, and stress as farmers are trying to maximize their harvest with uncooperative weather, limited workers, and shorter days. With the urgency felt by farm families during this season, here are some safety reminders.
With more farmers thinking about how to transition their operations to the next generation-including those who own farms preserved in perpetuity for agricultural production-the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is making new funding available to ensure those operations have an up-to-date succession plan.
Good shepherds should be focused on good management practices, high performance sheep and meeting the needs of customers.
View this new 4-part video series to help you understand how your farm or food business may be affected under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
During the last four weeks we have observed a very sharp increase in the number of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) adults collected in various monitoring traps placed around orchards located in southern Pennsylvania. After relatively lower levels of infestation on fruit observed during the last two seasons, this 2016 harvest seems to bring back a serious BMSB challenge.
The purpose of safety data sheets (SDS) is to provide detailed information about all chemicals and pesticides including the chemical properties, various hazards (e.g., physical, health, environmental, etc.), protective measures, and safety precautions (e.g., handling, storing, and transporting).
This new resource for organic producers features case studies of successful organic enterprises along with details on organic farming practices.
A group of Penn State Extension educators are working closely with specialty crop producers across the state on a “Models for the Future” demonstration plot project. Plots are designed to showcase best management practices for producers in the establishing years of developing their farm enterprises.
Starting up a new vegetable farm requires a lot of planning.
Employers must often keep up with a variety of required government posters at their orchards, farms, or other places of business which can be daunting at times. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor changed two posters that employers are required to post in the workplace.
New Morning Farm is a certified organic diversified vegetable farm on 95 acres of land in Hustontown in southern Huntingdon County. Of the 95 acres, 30-45 are in vegetable production. Jim Crawford has been farming here for 40 years and farmed in another location for the five years before that. His farming career sprung out of being a serious gardener. We had the opportunity to spend a morning with Jim and senior apprentice Jennifer Glenister.
Harvesting apples at the optimum stage of maturity increases fruit flavor and firmness and reduces the potential for decay. Begin sampling fruit for maturity assessments several weeks before normal harvest is anticipated.
The Rural Economic Development Clinic at Penn State Law is now accepting clients for the fall semester. The clinic provides food and agriculture businesses with free legal services on a variety of legal issues.
The Penn State Tree Fruit Extension team is launching a series of videos available on the Start Farming Extension page. These ‘Learn Now’ videos provide information on numerous subject areas of interest to beginning growers in ten minutes or less.
Sheep that receive optimal nutrition are more likely to perform at higher levels than sheep that receive less than optimal nutrition. Of course, on the flip side we can certainly expect sheep that receive maximum nutrition to perform at very high levels.
A three-part video series on best practices for post-harvest washing of fresh produce, including proper use of sanitizers in wash water, is now available on the Penn State Extension site.
As our drought continues expect to see an increase in Blossom End Rot (BER) on peppers, tomatoes, squash, watermelon, and cantaloupes.
On July 20, 2016 we visited with Micah and Bethany Spicher Schonberg and Gabby Bedeian at Plowshare Produce, a certified organic farm located in McAlevys Fort in Huntingdon County. Micah and Bethany rent the 2.5 acres they farm from Bethany’s parents who own 50-60 acres.
Grassy weeds often infest fields. Management practices for grassy weeds vary depending on which grassy weed you are trying to control.